General Counsel and Secretary–California State University


General Counsel and Secretary

California State University

Long Beach, California


The Office of the Chancellor of the California State University System (CSU), the largest, most diverse university system in the United States, seeks a highly skilled and experienced attorney and manager to serve as General Counsel and Secretary (GC). Reporting to the Chancellor, the successful candidate for this position will oversee a team of nearly 40 attorneys, staff members, and legal professionals working at the CSU Headquarters in Long Beach, California, and across twenty-three CSU campuses. The General Counsel will have a unique opportunity to advance a multi-campus legal department that is capable of responding nimbly and effectively to the diverse legal challenges facing the CSU. S/he will lead a department as it continues to develop a progressive model for how an experienced and able legal team can best support the leadership of one of the largest public university systems in the world.


The CSU campuses span California and collectively enroll approximately 437,000 students, making it the largest four-year public higher education system in the world. The CSU employs approximately 22,000 faculty and 22,000 staff members, who work together to deliver more than 1,800 degree programs in approximately 360 subject areas. Since its creation in 1961, the CSU has conferred nearly 2.8 million degrees, and adds nearly 100,000 new graduates annually. Sometimes called “The People’s University,” the CSU campuses provide high quality, affordable education to meet the ever-changing needs of the people of California. The CSU System is a vital economic engine for the State of California; roughly one out of 10 employees in California attended a CSU college. To learn more, see


The CSU stands at an exciting moment: Timothy P. White, formerly chancellor of the University of California, Riverside, was named the seventh Chancellor of the CSU in December 2012. Since arriving, Chancellor White has reached out across the CSU and initiated a collaborative process to forge a vision and strategic plan to guide them in the coming years. The next General Counsel will be a strategic partner who can help the CSU continue to succeed in achieving its vital public mission by developing an office that is known as a trusted source of advisement that works collaboratively with the Chancellor, the Board, the campus Presidents and other senior leaders, and the faculty leadership.


The General Counsel will address following diverse opportunities and challenges:


  • Effectively lead, motivate, and support a talented team of legal professionals;
  • Deliver the highest quality of legal services that support timely and effective outcomes;
  • Provide leadership and creative problem solving to advance the strategic vision of CSU;
  • Serve as a trusted advisor to the Chancellor and the Board.


The General Counsel must possess a Juris Doctorate degree from an accredited law school. Strong academic credentials are expected, a minimum of 15 years of progressively responsible legal experience, and admission to the State Bar of California is highly preferred. The successful candidate should have a demonstrated passion for public service and for the tremendous positive contribution public higher education provides to our civil society.Compensation will be commensurate with experience. To learn more, see Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. CSU has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Confidential inquiries, nominations, referrals, and resumes with cover letters should be sent in confidence to:

Isaacson, Miller

David Bellshaw, Cathy R. Daniels and/or Bernard R. Jones

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, CA 94111-1347


Email submission of application materials is strongly encouraged.